How to write a rebuttal letter for a performance evaluation

In your workplace, you may occasionally undergo a performance evaluation. Such evaluations are often intended to gauge how well you perform your job and whether the company or business should offer you additional wages or perks, or even issue a reprimand. Your manager might issue an evaluation that you think does not accurately reflect your job performance. Learn how to write a rebuttal letter for a performance evaluation to establish and defend your work reputation.

Contact your collective bargaining unit (i.e., union) if you are a member of such an organisation. Often, these organisations require that you notify them before taking any action on your part. The organisation can help you navigate local laws that may affect your rebuttal process. For example, Florida statute specifically outlines details regarding the legal process of refuting a negative job evaluation. Your union steward will be able to assist you with such matters where applicable.

Review your job contract and corporate policies before writing a performance evaluation rebuttal letter. Some businesses require additional action beyond writing a letter, such as filing an official statement of grievance with the business's management team. Contact your corporation's human resources department if you do not fully understand your job contract and the process of disputing a job evaluation.

Review job performance expectations that had previously been set in any employee guidebooks you may have been given during the course of your employment. Compare these expectations with any job performance criticism in your evaluation.

Draft a letter outlining the disparities you noticed in Step 3. Be careful to stick strictly to the factual matters. This is critical, especially if you are dealing with a manager with whom you do not have an amicable relationship. Resorting to negative vocabulary and accusations that go beyond the facts will result in the recipient of the letter doubting your arguments.

Emphasise areas in your performance evaluation that you believe are clear violations of the job contract you signed. Be emphatic in regard to any disparities between your manager's and your version of a negative job incident (for example, an absence or a job-related injury).

Submit the letter to your manager immediately. A late letter, or failing to send the rebuttal letter after receiving an inaccurate job performance evaluation, could be interpreted as a sign of agreement or guilt. Request that a copy of the letter be placed in your employee file for future records.


Make a photocopy of your rebuttal letter for your own records in case your place of employment misplaces the copy you submitted.

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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.